In the New Testament we read how Christ taught about the importance of building on a sure foundation. He spoke of sand and how it washes away and leaves no support for our homes. But a home built on a strong foundation will outlast any storm,
47 Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like:
48 He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.
49 But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great. (Luke 6:47-49)
In the past few years, as I hear with disbelief the decisions made in federal courts, statements made by state and federal leaders, opinions of neighbors and friends, and so much more, it feels like my family’s foundation, which I thought was strong and firm, is rapidly eroding away. So much is happening so quickly that it seems every day has a new report more disturbing than the last. It’s easy to feel hopelessness and despair as the country follows a path we don’t recognize or approve of and there seems no way to turn back.
The flood waters Christ spoke of seem to be rising all around us. First they just swirled and lapped at our feet. Then they rose a bit to cover our ankles and even reach our knees. I always thought I could keep my family away from the rapids far downstream, but as the flood rises, it almost chokes us as we try to keep our heads above water. How much longer can my family hold on before we lose our footing altogether?
Yet God has promised if we follow Him, He will be there for us,
And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed. (Deuteronomy 1:8)
Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. (Isaiah 41:10)
It’s time to act on this promise and remind our families of their foundation of faith, prayer and God’s word. We can remind them how much these mean to us as parents and how much it can mean to them. We need to make sure their testimonies, and ours, are strong enough to withstand any teaching from the world that doesn’t conform to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We need to emphasize love and respect while at the same time teaching an understanding that love and respect don’t always mean agreement. We need to inspire in our children the importance of sticking together as a family and not caring what anyone else thinks of us. If we are following Christ, then nothing else matters. Courage should also be a part of our foundation: the courage to follow Christ at all costs. Obedience to God’s law is another building block necessary to a solid foundation. Gratitude should have a big role: we need to engage in active thanksgiving for all the blessings God has given us, even the smallest, most insignificant ones.
Once we have checked the foundation of our family, strengthened it, and made it safe and secure, those billowing waves won’t have nearly the effect they once did. We might feel like they’re winning, but if we “fear not,” pray always, and follow Christ, we will know what He wants us to do and we will be able to do it.
By Jennifer Jensen